Irish News

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Rosanna and mum in bid to save cathedral

Mark Hilliard

Published 20/10/2011|05:00

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Rosanna Davison and her mother Diane join the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, to launch a major fundraising auction for the cathedral's upkeep

A famous cathedral needs to find €2m for its future upkeep.

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Christ Church in Dublin, a major tourist attraction, requires an initial cash injection of €1m for essential stonework repairs to its famous bell tower and another €1m for refurbishment of its Chapter House.

Yesterday, model Rosanna Davison, dancer Michael Flatley, singer Roger Whittaker, actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers and a host of well known names got behind a donation drive for an upcoming auction aimed at securing its future.

"It's an appeal to safeguard a national monument," said the cathedral dean, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne.

"The vision I have is that it's not just a church belonging to a particular denomination, it's Irish heritage; it belongs to all the people and we are just the custodians of it.

"It's synonymous with New Year's Eve and Dublin and ringing in the New Year. The stonework is in a bit of decay on the outside and we need to repoint the whole tower and that will cost about €1m."

The historic bell tower boasts the largest number of bells in the world -- a total of 19 -- producing a sound unrivalled anywhere. But it is under serious threat from leaks.

"Literally, (without the required repairs) the outward stone would just decay away and rot the timbers just like in any building. This hasn't been attended to since the reordering of the cathedral in 1870," said the Dean.

The cathedral's Chapter House at the Dame Street end also needs to be repointed, on top of other conservation works.

In order to raise the money, a "Bid to Save Christ Church" auction has now been planned for this December at the prestigious Sheppard's Irish Auction House in Co Laois.

Responding to a call for help, managing director Michael Sheppard explained that they are now accepting donations for the auction.

"We are looking for artwork, silver, dream items like an upmarket hotel giving a weekend for two with dinner included," explained Mr Sheppard.

Fine art, jewellery, silver, designer watches, even fine wine from a private collection are all along the lines of the kind of items they are hoping might be donated.

The public auction will take place on December 16 and will be streamed live to attract a wide cross-section of bidders.

Further information can be obtained at www. sheppards.ie.

Irish Independent

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